Day after day for a week now I keep hearing two words when I seek the Lord:
It all started when an intercessor prayed regarding COVID 19 and launched their prayer using 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now, they prayed a beautiful and heartfelt prayer with which I agreed. And, I really love God’s word. Truly I love Him and love all He has to say, but I realized during the prayer (wonderful as it was) that I am worn out by the quoting of this verse. It caused such upset within me that I had to seek out Holy Spirit to explain to me what was wrong with me.
That was when I heard Repentance Factor for the first time. The “thing” that was bothering me was not this important verse in the Bible nor the strong prayer prayed by my fellow intercessor. It was revelation of my own heart condition, revelation of the lack of repentance in our nation, and in the church most especially. Yes, the church! Without the Body of Christ’s lead in repenting for our sins and for the sins of our citizens, how would the nation ever know it was important to do so? Without the all important “IF” being fulfilled by God’s people, we can pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 until Jesus comes for us and our land will not be healed.
It says if MY PEOPLE will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…MY PEOPLE. Who are God’s people? At the time it was given to Solomon, the Jews were God’s people and the temple was being dedicated. Today the Jews are still God’s people and, Praise Him, so are those who have the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. In fact, those of us that have Jesus as our Savior are now the dedicated temple of God! In Solomon’s day the stone building was filled with the glory of God. Now, the Redeemed of the Lord are filled with the glory of God via Holy Spirit. Since we are God’s People and His Temple we need to seriously and profoundly take ownership of this verse of scripture and do what it says.
By and large during this crisis or any crisis we, the church, have the prayer part down pat. In fact,there is more prayer right now in the world than ever I have seen! Social media, Zoom, Skype, conference calls are a buzz with prayer and intercession. Praise God! We easily caught the part of the scripture that says to pray. Myriads of people are asking God for protection, healing and provision. No doubt the Father will be pouring out answers to these personal prayers going up to the throne of grace by the thousands. Nonetheless, this scripture is not being fulfilled. We are still lacking greatly in the Repentance Factor that will trigger healing for our land; the part of the scripture that says: HUMBLE THEMSELVES, TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS and also SEEK MY FACE.
Tackling “seek My face” first. Seems simple. Even Easy. But seeking His Face is far more than a prayer for protection, healing, and provision. God hears those prayers from everyone and in His mercy, he answers. But, He moves quickly and precisely for those who have a close relationship with Him. Why? Because the closer one becomes to God, talking and walking with Him daily, minute by minute, the more likely it is that we will pray prayers that are initiated by HIM and are flowing from HIS heart through ours as His vessel. When we move from personal survival requests and pray those kind of “seek his face” prayers, they get answered.
A Pastor’s devotional that I just finished called them “dangerous prayers.” They are the kind way beyond “protect me and my family.” Seek His Face Prayers always include “use me”,”change me”, “Help me to do YOUR will for me, Lord.” Dangerous intercessors ask God why things aren’t changing, stop and listen for His response AND implement or do what He says. Even if it means their lives are turned upside-down, God’s face seeking people allow Him to transform them into a reflection of Him in the earth, including their prayer priorities… and their whole lives.
That leads me back to the Repentance Factor. To be used by God, changed by God, and to gain ability to speak and do His will not our own, REPENTANCE is the only way. To see our land miraculously healed, REPENTANCE is the only way. We must let Holy Spirit reveal to us the depths of our own wicked ways. Let me phrase it another way for those of you that are bothered by the words wicked and sin in relation to a born again Believer. Think of it this way: God has an opinion clearly stated in His word and at salvation His opinion was written on our hearts. Even so, we have our own opinions formed from birth and opinions we have adopted from our culture. Those opinions do not always line up with God’s Word, do they? Every one of our opinions that do not line up with God’s Word is a “wicked way.” He wants all of our opinions to line up with His opinion!
Shocking isn’t it? Reflecting on where our heart leads us and what thoughts we have compared to the Bible (God’s opinion) can be hard to handle. Thank God Romans 8:1 starts out by saying: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine) If you desire to be a useful effective vessel that God can really use, simply repent. Ask Him to reveal every contrary opinion that you have and go to Him often! That is living “IN Christ Jesus!” When your opinion differs from His, repent. And ask Him to change your opinion to match His. No condemnation! Every second of every day is a second chance! He is overjoyed when we grab onto the truth that we need to continuously seek His face while turning from our opinions (wicked ways). Grab this truth and healing of your personal land will flow. If we grab it corporately, healing of our nation will flow!
We will also receive the promise of less quoted yet far more wonderful verses
2 Chronicles 7:15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
Please join me in prayer regarding a paradigm shift within the greater church, especially leadership, that will open an all important door to healing our land: the Repentance Factor.
My prayer is that the walls of separation between denominations and styles of worshiping our God would fall. That our prejudices toward one another in the body of Christ would be washed away in a flood of repentant opinion changing. And, that our leaders would stop for a moment in their own efforts and hear God’s voice of unity and love He has for us all. As a result that they would stand together (via all the electronic avenues we have available) in the midst of this crisis, ask forgiveness from God and each other, and then move into repentance for our collective sin of having a different opinion than God. Especially to repent for continuously trying to build the kingdom of God in their own strength while ignoring Jesus’ commandment to “Love one another as He has loved us.”
Start with me, Lord. Start with those who read this message. Holy Spirit help us to step into the Repentance Factor needed to heal our land, in Jesus Amazing Name I pray…AMEN!
With much hope in our Lord,
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Copyrighted 2020 Cheryl S Birch
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All Bible verses are from the New King James Version